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Cassandra Nelson

 

Biological Sciences

Undergraduate Institute: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Research Advisor: Jeffrey Gardner, Ph.D.

Description of Research

My research focuses on understanding the mechanism of complex polysaccharide degradation, specifically cellulose, using the bacteria Cellvibrio japonicus.  Using a combination of genetics, proteomics, transcriptomics, and biochemistry I hope to elucidate the role of specific enzymes to help understand the larger process of plant degradation. By understanding the larger process of enzymatic plant degradation by micororganisms, we will be better able to apply those organisms for biotechnology and understand how they interact with humans in the gut during digestion.